Beyoncé made history at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday, becoming the first person to win 32 of the Recording Academy’s Shining Gramophones. But only one of those 32 awards came in a Big Four category (album, record and song of the year plus best new artist). It happened on the 2010 telecast, when Bey won Song of the Year for co-writing her dance hit “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
Beyoncé has been nominated 18 times in the Big Four categories. This means she must have smiled politely when someone else approached to accept a Big Four award for which she has been nominated 17 times. In 2017, she lost the top three awards to Adele. In 2001, she and her Destiny’s Child colleagues lost two of the top three awards to U2. In 2021, two of his singles lost to a Billie Eilish hit.
It’s hard to feel too sorry for an artist who has won more Grammys than Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Prince and Elton John combined. And yet, the fact that Beyoncé has a 1-17 track record in the Big Four categories – which are by far the most scrutinized and prestigious – is maddening to Beyhive, and to many others who believe it shows that Beyoncé (and Black artists in general) are devalued by the Academy.
That said, she has twice lost to other black artists in the Big Four categories. Two years ago, “Black Parade” lost Song of the Year to HER’s BLM anthem “I Can’t Breathe.” This year, “Break My Soul” lost the record of the year to Lizzo’s jubilant “About Damn Time”.
Here’s a look at every time Beyoncé has been nominated in a Big Four category. Dates listed are this year’s Grammy telecast dates.